Seven Wireless Innovation Forum Members Granted Conditional Approval by FCC to Serve as Spectrum Access System Administrators

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All organizations are members of the Forum’s Spectrum Sharing Committee (SSC) established to develop the solutions and standards that will encourage rapid development of the CBRS ecosystem, protect incumbent operations, and benefit all potential stakeholders in the band.

Wireless Innovation Forum
We are very pleased to be the multi-stakeholder group to develop the solutions and standards for this novel three-tier regulatory framework.

The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnForum) a non-profit international industry association dedicated to driving the future of radio communications and systems worldwide, today congratulated seven of its member organizations for being granted conditional approval by the FCC to serve as Spectrum Access System (SAS) Administrators. All of the organizations who filed to be SAS administrators are members of the Forum’s Spectrum Sharing Committee (SSC), which was established to develop the solutions and standards that will encourage rapid development of the CBRS ecosystem, protect incumbent operations, and benefit all potential stakeholders in the band.

Member organizations who will serve as SAS administrators include: Amdocs, Comsearch, a CommScope Company, CTIA, Federated Wireless, Google, Keybridge and Sony. Comsearch, a CommScope Company, CTIA, Federated Wireless, Google, Keybridge and iPosi also filed to serve as ESC Operators (approval pending) The FCC announced the approval here: https://www.fcc.gov/document/35-ghz-sas-conditional-approval-public-notice.

“The FCC has taken another step forward in the commercialization of the CBRS 3.5GHz band,” said Bruce Oberlies of Motorola Solutions and Chair of the WInnForum. “We are very pleased to be the multi-stakeholder group to develop the solutions and standards for this novel three-tier regulatory framework. The success of this process is exemplified in having seven members conditionally approved by the FCC to serve as SAS administrators."

Per the announcement: “The SAS will coordinate three tiers of users in the 3.5 GHz Band, making the band available for commercial use on a shared basis with existing federal and non-federal incumbents. Today’s action marks an important step toward making this spectrum available for wireless broadband and other innovative uses.” The approval is conditional upon a number of factors outlined in the public notice, and includes demonstrative adherence to testing and certification specifications being developed now by the WInnForum.

Recently Federated Wireless and Google Alphabet demonstrated interoperability between Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Access System (SAS), CINQ XP, and the SAS developed by Alphabet’s Access team. This is a major milestone in validating the operational viability of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) shared spectrum solution in the 3.5 GHz band as envisioned by the FCC.

“We are grateful for the work of the FCC to get us this far, and we are fully ready to commence formal testing,” said Iyad Tarazi, Federated Wireless’ CEO. “We’ve done a great deal of work to develop the ecosystem and the standards within the WInnForum, testing our Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC), and working with partners to develop complete solutions. Conditional Approval of our Spectrum Access System puts us one big step closer to a commercial launch.”

SASs and ESCs are essential components necessary for future operations in the 3.5 GHz Band. SASs will serve as advanced, highly automated frequency coordinators across the band, protecting higher tier users from harmful interference from lower tier users and optimizing frequency use to facilitate coexistence among all users in the band. The ESCs will consist of networks of sensors that will detect the presence of signals from federal systems in the band and communicate that information to one or more SASs to facilitate protection of federal operations in the band.

The testing and certification specification is planned to be released by the Forum in May. Current specifications and the roadmap for future releases can be found on the Spectrum Sharing Committee’s web site: http://www.wirelessinnovation.org/spectrum-sharing-committee.

The committee will be holding a related workshop “Building an Ecosystem for the CBRS Band” at IWCE 2017 in Las Vegas on 30 March that will provide an introduction to CBRS, CBRS Standards overview, Certification, discussion on the regulatory and technical issues of transition, and ecosystem presentations. More information on the workshop can be found here: http://www.iwceexpo.com/iwce17/Public/SessionDetails.aspx?FromPage=Sessions.aspx&SessionID=1017819&SessionDateID=1000997.

The SSC benefits from participation of a broad-based group that includes wireless carriers, network equipment manufacturers, potential SAS and ESC Administrators, satellite operators, existing 3650-3700 MHz band licensees, and other parties with an interest in the 3550 MHz band. A complete listing of the reports, recommendations and specifications produced by WInnForum members can be found here: http://www.wirelessinnovation.org/ssc-public-files.

Supported by platinum sponsors Google, Motorola Solutions, Leonardo and Thales, WInnForum has several working groups focusing on projects related to SCA and Spectrum Innovation. Visit http://www.WirelessInnovation.org to learn more. Individuals or organizations wishing to participate in WInnForum Working Groups should contact Lee Pucker at Lee.Pucker(at)WirelessInnovation(dot)org.

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Stephanie Hamill
@WInnForum
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